Three systems have been proposed for advanced high temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGRs): a supercritical carbon dioxide (S-CO2) gas turbine power conversion system; a new MicroChannel Heat Exchanger (MCHE); and a once-through-then-out (OTTO) refueling scheme with burnable poison (BP) loading. An S-CO2 gas turbine cycle attains higher cycle efficiency than a He gas turbine cycle due to reduced compression work around the critical point of CO2. Considering temperature lowering at the turbine inlet by 30°C through the intermediate heat exchange, the S-CO2 indirect cycle achieves efficiency of 53.8% at turbine inlet temperature of 820°C and turbine inlet pressure of 20 MPa. This cycle efficiency value is higher by 4.5% than that (49.3%) of a He direct cycle at turbine inlet temperature of 850°C and 7 MPa. A new MCHE has been proposed as intermediate heat exchangers between the primary cooling He loop and the secondary S-CO2 gas turbine power conversion system; and recuperators of the S-CO2 gas turbine power conversion system. This MCHE has discontinuous “S”-shape fins providing flow channels with near sine curves. Its pressure drop is one-sixth reference to the conventional MCHE with zigzag flow channel configuration while the same high heat transfer performance inherits. The pressure drop reduction is ascribed to suppression of recirculation flows and eddies that appears around bend corners of zigzag flow channels in the conventional MCHE. An optimal BP loading in an OTTO refueling scheme eliminates the drawback of its excessively high axial power peaking factor, reducing the power peaking factor from 4.44 to about 1.7; and inheriting advantages over the multi-pass scheme because of the lack of fuel handling and integrity checking systems; and reloading. Because of the power peaking factor reduction, the maximum fuel temperatures are lower than the maximum permissible values of 1250°C for normal operation and 1600°C during a depressurization accident.

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